The start of a new year is a time when people often look to make a career change. A well thought-out strategy is the best approach for both security job seekers and hiring companies. Decisions made in haste often have negative consequences.

You have undoubtedly seen examples of this when organizations make bad hiring decisions. The damage and costs range from blows to team dynamics and organization reputation to litigation and even criminal liability. All of these extend well beyond the individual who was hired and result in tangible losses to the organization. Not good.

Having often been in the position of recruiting in the aftermath of a bad hire, I have observed that many are a result of both the hiring manager and the candidate failing to properly approach the hiring process. Sometimes common failure points, like making an emotional decision or failing to truly understand the role, are further exacerbated by budget or time pressures.

For the candidate, making the wrong decision to accept a role that results in leaving an organization – albeit even voluntarily – leads to difficulty in the subsequent job search. It is challenging enough to progress a security career given the limited number of opportunities without having to deal with the mental anguish of explaining the number of companies listed on your employment history during each interview.

The hiring organization and the candidates need address several common failure points before going forward to achieve a positive outcome. Both parties have responsibilities and obligations during the process.

The following are common failure points:

  1. Making emotional decisions regarding the candidate, role and/or company and then looking for the facts to support those feelings.
  2. Failing to develop and understand the real nature of the position and the key elements of success.
  3. Solely focusing on the tactical elements of the job rather than organizational and team compatibility.
  4. Exaggerating and embellishing of capabilities and experience.
  5. Providing false or misleading information about the company, role or future career succession.
  6. Ignoring the issue of future potential or career growth.
  7. Approaching the hiring process as just another transaction and candidates as commodities.
  8. Hiring or working with people known from previous organizations.
  9. Lacking a defined on-boarding process.
  10. Not including administrative and support staff in the feedback evaluation from their interactions during the process.

Winning or providing a job offer is not a measure of success. Making sound, carefully thought-out career and hiring decisions that will be effective for both the organization and the candidate is critical.